First time bacon

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokingdope, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. smokingdope

    smokingdope Newbie

    So my girlfriend had picked me up a real nice piece of pork belly, it was about 2 lbs but I cut it in half and marinated and deep fried them to perfection. But anyways I had some cure and the smoke tube coming in the mail so I held out the beautiful piece for bacon.

    Using a cure calculator on diggingdogfarm.Com I calculated my ratios and made my cure

    The piece weighed out to about 1.2 lbs, so I added. 5g. Of sugar 10g salt 1.4 g cure

    Rubbed her down nice and zip locked it taking out most of the air.

    Stay tuned for more, any comments advice or tips you guys have let me know will always be happy to here new techniques.
  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good so far. That will give you a maximum of 161 ppm Nitrite which is great however the maximum salt will only be about 2%. This will be fine but some people may find the end result a little under salted. Stick with it for now but make a note as you eat it to see if you need to add a little more next time. I tend to aim for 2.5% salt and others seem to go for about 3%. Did you place any remaining cure that didnt stick to the pork in the bag as well?

    7 to 10 days in the cure (some use 7 but I use 10), turning every day to evenly coat the pork in the brine that is produced. Do not be tempted to pour any of the brine away - sorry if that is teaching to suck eggs. The more air you can get out of the bag the better as it keeps the resulting brine in closer contact with the meat.

    Looking forward to seeing the next steps [​IMG]
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks great so far!


  4. slipaway

    slipaway Meat Mopper

    Wade is correct on the salt content.  If you do a salt test after the cure (cut small slice and cook) if too salty soak in cold water for an hour- this will bring the saltiness back down - you just can  never take it back up if it is not salty enough.....

    I like the looks of your pork belly. Sometimes we get them and they are mostly all fat - I like a lot of meat in it.

    Looking forward to the end pictures.............
  5. smokingdope

    smokingdope Newbie

    This is great advice thank you, and yes every single bit of the cure went into the bag, I really try to no waste anything, so I now have habits of scrapping every viable spec into the bag lol. I'm making cracklins from the skin I took off as well. I was discussing with my cousin about the salt content and he taught the same thing I'm going to be sure to keep a log now along with my recipes to keep track of how they taste, I like a nice subtle saltyness with my bacon, and my girlfriend likes it salty, so I'm gonna keep trying till I have the perfect medium. {This really means I'll just keep trying till she is happy and it's not too much for me lol}

    Thank you for your advice, will keep the next steps posted.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  6. smokingdope

    smokingdope Newbie

    Will do thanks for the tip on how to get it down, do you thing it looses saltyness during cold smoking cause that's my next step after cureing wouldn't want to soak it get it right then smoke it and loose it lol.

    And yeah the pork belly are usually just fat around me too that's why she grabbed it cause she seen how much meat it had she knew it was gonna be something great lol.
  7. smokingdope

    smokingdope Newbie

    Thanks Al hope u like how it looks when it's all done, will update soon
  8. slipaway

    slipaway Meat Mopper

    You say you are going to cold smoke the bacon. Whenever I have made it I get the bacon up to 150 degrees IT. Don't think you can do that by keeping t he smoker under 100.

    Maybe others have done this but I put it on the smoker at about 200 and let the bacon come up to 150. Then I let it rest and then wrap and refrigerate until the nex day before slicing. Just my way of doing it.

    On your question - Smoking (cold or not) wont change the saltyness, so you should make sure it is as solty as you like before you do any smoking.
  9. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It will not lose its saltyness when it is smoked and unless you have really over salted it when you taste it do not soak it. With your cure mix you will not have over salted it. 

    Even if future batches turn out a little too salty (which they shouldn't) simply either slice the bacon slightly thinner (you will taste less of the salt) or dice it and use it in cooking.

    When you cold smoke you can do this at cool room temperature because it has been cured - 10-15 C (50-60 F) is fine. Many of us smoke their bacon in stages. In the winter when the weather is cool I simple smoke for about 36 hours straight but in the summer I smoke it over several consecutive nights (when it is cooler), placing it in the refrigerator during the day.

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